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Now that summer is coming a close, the days are starting to get shorter and the mornings darker. Not only can this make it a bit more difficult to get out of bed, but for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it can cause a lot of issues.
SAD is a type of depression that is affected by the seasons, with symptoms becoming noticeable during autumn because there is less light during the days than in summer. It can result in a low mood, irritability, lack of energy and feeling like you need to sleep more.
No one knows exactly why SAD affects people, but it is thought to be caused by the lack of sunlight affecting hormone production. This is why many people start adding more light to their home during autumn to try and boost their mood.
If you find that it is harder to get up and go during autumn and winter, here are some great ways to include more light in your rooms, which could help you overcome SAD:
Use brighter bulbs
One of the simplest changes you can make is to swap your existing light bulbs for a slightly higher wattage. This will mean they give out a brighter light, which is a small change that can make a big difference.
If you use energy-saving bulbs, you also won't see much of a change in your energy bills, while still being able to enjoy a better quality of light throughout your home.
You don't even need to change every bulb in your house, as simply swapping the one in in the room you get ready in the morning can help your body and mind to wake up faster and leave you in a better mood.
Add more lamps
Sometimes the main light in a room doesn't really make a big difference, especially if your space is an odd shape or is quite large. This is why lamps can really help during autumn and winter.
Adding extra lamps to a room can help increase how much light is in it, as well as brighten up murky corners that usually aren't well-lit. You can position lamps anywhere that suits you, which can make a massive difference during the morning and evening.
Lamps also allow you to tailor how much light you need, as you don't need to turn them all on if you don't require them all at the same time.
It's a good idea, though, to put a lamp near where you usually sit, as this ensures the light is focused on you in the morning, which can make a big difference on dark days.
You can also get lights that are designed especially for combatting SAD. These mimic daylight and help to regulate the hormones that many believe are the cause of SAD.
If you really struggle during autumn and winter, try putting one of these in the room where you get ready in the morning, ensuring it is opposite where you sit or stand. Turn it on for at least half an hour to help you wake up and you should find that your SAD symptoms are reduced.
Just make sure you use it every morning, or you'll soon feel the difference to your mood and energy.
When it comes to the evenings, you don't necessarily want lots of lamps on in your living room while you're trying to unwind after a long day. However, you'll still need some extra lights when the dark evenings really start to close in.
Candles are the perfect option as they provide more light but aren't too harsh. In fact, candlelight actually helps you to relax and could be good for your health, making them just as effective at combatting SAD as any other light sources.
Not only can the candlelight help set up a relaxing atmosphere and ensure you get a good night's sleep, the scents you choose can also make a big difference.